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Perth: Australia's national hockey coach Ric Charlesworth on Monday announced an 18-man squad to defend the FIH World Cup to be held in The Hague from May 31 to June 15. Hockey Australia (HA) believe that their selection panel has named the best balanced contingent as the Kookaburras look to successfully defend the gold medal they won at the 2010 edition in New Delhi. Ten players from that world title winning side have been named for the 2014 campaign. "It's as hard as it's ever been for me. 28 (fit athletes) doesn't go into 18. It's been a difficult process and there are two or three very unlucky people, some we just couldn't find a place for," Charlesworth said. Of the 2010 gold medal winning side, Liam De Young, Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers, Rob Hammond, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Matthew Swann and Glenn Turner will all make the trip to The Hague. For Queenslanders Dwyer and De Young it will be their fourth World Cup, having also played in the Kookaburras' 2002 and 2006 silver medal winning campaigns. Knowles, Hammond and Russell Ford were also part of the 2006 contingent. Speaking about his ambitions for the tournament, Charlesworth said: "As with every tournament we enter, we want to play in the main games at the end. To do that you need to hit the ground running and perform consistently." Australia have won the World Cup on two previous occasions - 1986 and 2010. Only Pakistan (1978 and 1982) and Germany (2002 and 2006) have successfully defended the title. After arriving in The Hague, the team will face Argentina and Germany in two unofficial, shortened practice games before opening the World Cup against Malaysia May 31. The squad: Andrew Charter, Chris Ciriello, Liam De Young, Jamie Dwyer, Russell Ford, Kieran Govers, Rob Hammond, Jeremy Hayward, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Tyler Lovell, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Glenn Simpson, Matthew Swann, Glenn Turner, Jake Whetton, Aran Zalewski.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann expects players to sledge during South Africa ODIs

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Australia coach Darren Lehmann expects players to sledge during South Africa ODIs

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India vs New Zealand: Sachin Tendulkar sees Virat Kohli & co dominating world cricket

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India vs New Zealand: Sachin Tendulkar sees Virat Kohli & co dominating world cricket

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India vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli says he's not averse to using Spidercam, but it shouldn't interrupt play

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India vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli says he's not averse to using Spidercam, but it shouldn't interrupt play

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Badminton: Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, H S Prannoy progress to second round of Japan Super Series

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Badminton: Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, H S Prannoy progress to second round of Japan Super Series

Tokyo: It turned out to be a mixed day for Indian shuttlers at the Japan Super Series with Ajay Jayaram, H S Prannoy and K Srikanth fighting their way to the second round of the men's singles competit...

India vs New Zealand 2016: Virat Kohli wants hosts to improve their batting against spin

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India vs New Zealand 2016: Virat Kohli wants hosts to improve their batting against spin

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BCCI appoints former wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as India's chief selector

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BCCI appoints former wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as India's chief selector

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Pakistan awarded with ICC Test Championship mace for the first time

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Pakistan awarded with ICC Test Championship mace for the first time

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